Another clash erupted between residents of border areas of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan Wednesday (December 18) morning.  More than ten people from both sides were reportedly injured in that clash.  

According to an official source within the Isfara administration, the clash erupted between residents of the Tajik village of Somoniyon in the Chorkuh jamoat which is subordinate to the Tajik northern city of Isfara, and residents of the Kyrgyz village of Koktash, Batken oblast of Kyrgyzstan.  

The source says among those injured in the clash are a 14-year teen Umedjon Safarov and imam of the village mosque Sodiqboy Nabiyev.  

“Residents of Somoniyon and Koktash began throwing stones at each other, and at this moment, Kyrgyz border guards began shooting.  Our border guards opened fire in response,” the source said.  

The source within the Isfara administration further noted that separate groups in Kyrgyzstan’s Batken oblast deliberately escalate the situation by their provocative actions. 

Representative of the Isfara central district hospital say a 14-year-old Umedjon Safarov, a 23-year-old Asrorkhon Asadzoda and a 59-year-old Sodiqboy Nabiyev were injured by beating.  Their condition is assessed as stable.

Two other residents of the Somoniyon village were injured by stone pelters.  They were reportedly given medical assistance at a local clinic.  

Currently, the situation is reportedly stable and border guards and local authorities are carrying out explanatory work among the population.  

There has been no official statement on the incident from the Tajik authorities.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan’s news agency kg.24, citing Kyrgyz border service, says six Kyrgyz nationals, including four servicemen, have been hospitalized.  Two of them – one serviceman and one civilian – reportedly sustained gunshot wounds.  Health condition of those six persons is reportedly assessed as satisfactory.  

It is to be noted that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have not yet resolved the border delineation problem.  Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

The border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.  The countries share 971 kilometers of border – of which only 504 kilometers has reportedly been properly delineated.

This year alone, there have reportedly been at least ten cases of violence, typically stemming from differences among local residents about how to share land and resources.